Gas pipeline blast kills 16 in southern India

More than a dozen people have been killed in a gas pipeline explosion in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, according to officials. The blast on Friday killed local residents living near a refinery in East Godavari district. The pipeline supplied a gas-fired power station. The blast sent flames shooting into the sky early on Friday morning near Nagaram village, East Godavari district, and raged for three hours before being brought under control. The owner of the pipeline, GAIL, said that 14 people were killed, while Andhra Pradesh’s home minister, N. Chinna Rajappa, said that the death toll was 16. Neighbouring villages were evacuated as the fire was broughy under control.

My thoughts with the families of those who lost their lives in the GAIL pipeline fire. Prayers with the injured.

Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister

GAIL is the country’s largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company and its website shows it has a pipeline that transports liquefied natural gas in the area of the explosion. Witnesses contacted by phone told AFP that angry locals had entered an office belonging to GAIL near the site of the accident, pelting it with stones and vandalising property.